1. U.S.-Cuba Musical Relations: A Timeline of Milestones

    December 19, 2014 5:15 PM EST Before President Obama's announcement Wednesday that the U.S. would be restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, there were five decades of a rocky musical relationship that displayed artistic triumphs, personal tragedies and the diplomatic power of music. See our timeline below: 1959 …

  2. Taylor Swift's Birthday Boosts Her to No. 1 on Social 50 Chart

    December 19, 2014 3:24 PM EST It pays to have famous friends -- or, in Taylor Swift ’s case, friends with large online followings who will tweet about attending your 25th birthday party. An array of A-listers (like Nick Jonas , Selena Gomez , Lorde , Haim and more) did just that on the night of Dec. 13, spreading online…

  3. The Alt In Our Stars Podcast: Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes Details New Album 'Aureate Gloom'

    December 19, 2014 2:54 PM EST Of Montreal recently announced their lucky 13th studio album -- Aureate Gloom , out March 3 on longtime label Polyvinyl. Bandleader Kevin Barnes is a pretty interesting guy, having guided the outfit from its late 1990s twee pop "happy yellow bumblebees" sound (as he puts it) to…

  4. Surprise! Miguel Releases 3 New Songs

    December 19, 2014 10:00 AM EST December continues to be popular month for unexpected releases from R&B singers. After D'Angelo dropped Black Messiah with little warning on Monday, three new songs popped up on Miguel 's SoundCloud page today. Listen below. This is the first sign that Miguel is working on a…

  5. Top 5 Producers Shifting the Sound of Atlanta Rap in 2014

    December 18, 2014 1:30 PM EST Super producers such as Organized Noize have paved the way for others to craft the way Atlanta is represented sonically. Now it seems that the current role of the producer in Atlanta is to dictate the way the Billboard chart sounds, with songs like "Tuesday" (produced by Metro…

  6. Windowing New Music May Not Goose Sales, Study Shows

    December 18, 2014 12:01 PM EST A case study by on one song in two different territories by two Spotify executives shows why windowing releases might not be a good idea. The Spotify duo, director of economic development Will Page and analyst Kenny Ning, chose to look at how Meghan Trainor 's "All About That Bass…

  7. My City: Atlanta, Featuring Raury, OG Maco & Father

    December 18, 2014 11:45 AM EST In the first of a series of videos highlighting regional hip-hop scenes titled 'My City,' Billboard's Erika Ramirez explores Atlanta's new rap scene. More than any other genre, hip-hop is strengthened by an artist's loyalty to his or her region. From the urban…

  8. Watch Nick Jonas Imitate Tom Hanks' 'Big' Piano Dance at FAO Schwarz

    December 18, 2014 11:05 AM EST Nick Jonas gave fans a Big moment in New York City. Jonas performed his single "Jealous" on the giant floor piano keys at FAO Schwarz, and managed to croon out the tune as well. "I stopped by FAO Schwarz in NYC and had to pay homage to the man Tom Hanks... Check it out,"…

  9. BandPage Touts Big Sales Metrics for Artists' Merch

    December 18, 2014 9:00 AM EST BandPage has announced a few large metrics today, over a year after signing key deals with Spotify (where it recently became the only way to place merchandise for sale on the platform), iHeartMedia and a notable funding round: 3,000,000 items, ranging from t-shirts to private concerts, are…

  10. Mick Management Brings On Former Artist Organization President Rich Schaefer

    December 17, 2014 1:57 PM EST Following a six-year tenure at The Artists Organization -- including two years as president -- Rich Schaefer has now moved to Mick Management as a partner, Billboard has exclusively learned. Schaefer joins CEO Michael McDonald and partners Jonathan Eshak and Rich Cohen .   “I’m…

  11. Anthony Hamilton Hits 'Home' With First Holiday Album

    December 17, 2014 9:43 AM EST The Grammy Award winner and current nominee will also appear as a special guest on Fox's new drama "Empire." To co-opt a popular phrase during this time of year, 'tis the season for Anthony Hamilton . Home for the Holidays , the R&B singer/songwriter/producer’s first…

  12. Gimme Five: 2PM's Favorite Songs Released

    December 16, 2014 6:00 PM EST Together for more than six years years, 2PM is the first to admit that they "have been through some very hard times." But throughout it all, Wooyoung, Taecyeon, Chansung, Jun.K, Junho and Nichkhun have continued to create music that not only becomes more meaningful to them, but…

  13. Why China's Mobile Providers Are a Giant Problem for Its Music Industry

    December 16, 2014 11:15 AM EST In this guest post, China-based entreprenuer Archie Hamilton explains how the country's music industry is at the mercy of a monopolistic mobile communications industry. So what to do? Back in 2008 and 2009, the debate within the media industries on how to compete with free was raging.…

  14. CAA Signs Latin Music Label Fania Records

    December 16, 2014 1:47 AM EST A half-century after its founding, Fania Records is experiencing a renaissance . The iconic Latin music label is capping off its 50th anniversary by signing with CAA, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. Founded by Dominican Republic-born bandleader Johnny Pacheco and attorney…

  15. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Timbaland Sued by Hungarian Singer Over 'Drunk In Love' Use

    December 15, 2014 8:09 PM EST A hungarian singer is suing Beyoncé , Jay Z and Timbaland for allegedly using her voice without permission in the hit song "Drunk In Love."  Beyonce & Taylor Swift Dance Together at Justin Timberlake Show Monika Miczura Juhasz, known as Mitsou, claims in a Manhattan civil suit…

  16. No Doubt, System of a Down & More Ring in 25 Years of KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas

    December 15, 2014 3:19 PM EST What the Jingle Ball tour has become to the pop world, KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas has been to the alternative scene for more than two decades. The L.A. radio station's annual December show, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, had its status as arguably the…

  17. The Industry in 2014: Digital Is the New Mainstream, Despite Taylor's Protestations

    December 15, 2014 2:53 PM EST Throughout the week, Billboard will be publishing pieces from our staff writers, each an outstanding authority on their specific area of coverage. From Nashville to Miami, the industry at large, publishing and retail, and the year in touring, we'll be taking comprehensive looks at the…

  18. Joaquin Sabina Fights Stage Fright During Emotional Madrid Show, Skips Encore

    December 15, 2014 9:00 AM EST Esteemed Spanish artist retreats from audience of 15,000 after emotional performance. Joaquin Sabina ’s first solo concert in five years in his native Spain sold 15,000 tickets in less than an hour, so emotions were high all around at showtime on Saturday (Dec. 13) at Madrid’s Barclaycard…

  19. Damon Albarn Postpones Sydney Opera House Show As CBD Siege Continues

    December 15, 2014 2:24 AM EST Damon Albarn’s scheduled Monday night performance at the Sydney Opera House has been postponed as a dramatic siege situation brought areas of the city center to a standstill. The iconic entertainment venue had reportedly been evacuated at about 10am local time following reports of a…

  20. Bill Cosby Breaks His Silence

    December 15, 2014 1:53 AM EST Bill Cosby broke his silence amid a flood of rape accusations in a very brief interview with The New York Post's Page Six . "Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral…

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